Skip to nav Skip to content


Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of non-small cell lung cancer and usually grows in the outer layers of the lung. Although the exact cause of adenocarcinoma is not fully understood, researchers have identified a variety of risk factors that are associated with this type of cancer. Smoking is the most common risk factor associated with all types of lung cancer; however, the association between adenocarcinoma and smoking is lower than that of the other types of lung cancer.

Other adenocarcinoma risk factors include exposure to:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Radon
  • Asbestos
  • Silica
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Air pollution
  • Other chemicals

Additionally, a family history of lung cancer, prior radiation therapy in the chest area and beta carotene supplements are other lung cancer risk factors. It is important to note that these risk factors will not necessarily lead to lung cancer. Similarly, an individual may develop lung cancer without having any of these risk factors.

How is adenocarcinoma diagnosed and treated?

If you are concerned that you may have adenocarcinoma or have already received an adenocarcinoma diagnosis, Moffitt Cancer Center can provide you with the services you require. Our screening program for long-time smokers has earned us recognition as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance. Moffitt also provides a broad range of treatment and supportive care services for patients who have been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma. Treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of those options, depending on your unique circumstances. At Moffitt, the multispecialty team that makes up our Thoracic Oncology Program will ensure you receive comprehensive care and an individualized treatment plan for the best chance of a positive outcome and improved quality of life.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Andreas Saltos.

If you would like to discuss your adenocarcinoma risk factors or treatment options with a Moffitt physician, fill out a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488. We do not require a referral.